Black choppers were seen by residents on Tuesday in the sky which they perceived has been carried out in preparation of Brexit precautionary measures however it has nothing to do with that. Black choppers were a part of pre-annual training carried out for exercise which has to happen in Afghanistan later this year. It was among 4 cities which are a part of training and Manchester is one of them. Residents in NorthernMoor and Wythenshawe reported seeing the helicopters overhead.
One eyewitness tweeted to say that he could see the aircraft from his garden and spotted crew ‘aiming their machine guns out the side’. Another resident said two helicopters were ‘right over’ his house in Wythenshawe. Troops from 4 Para and 4 Lancs Army Reserves were on board the aircraft with helicopter crews. They were carrying out a training exercise ahead of deployment to Afghanistan later this year.
Manchester is one of four locations where these exercises are taking place and while in the city crews will also be doing some training with the emergency services. In a statement, the RAF said the training is ‘invaluable’ as the Manchester area is unfamiliar to many of the crews. This is said to ‘help replicate the unfamiliarity’ they have with areas in Afghanistan in a safe environment, prior to their deployment.
The Puma Force currently supports the ongoing NATO training mission in Afghanistan, with their role dubbed Operation TORAL. They are used to transport troops, weapons and ammunition and stores on the battlefield.
The choppers also play a vital role in responding to casualties and medical emergencies.
Last week, another military training exercise took place at Manchester Central Fire Station in Ancoats.
Crew members were spotted abseiling out of AS365N3 Dauphins onto the roof of the building.
Eyewitnesses said the helicopters were part of the elite SAS counter-terrorism unit nicknamed ‘Blue Thunder’.